May 16, 2013

Latest Read: The Book of Broken Hearts

Here are the basics ...
The  Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
Publication date: May 21, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Borrowed from Estelle (Thanks!)

Summary: Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. She’s seen the tears that dating a Vargas boy can cause, and she swore an oath to never have anything to do with one. Now Jude is the only sister still living at home, and she’s spending the summer helping her ailing father restore his vintage motorcycle which means hiring a mechanic to help out. Is it Jude’s fault he happens to a Vargas? Jude tells herself it’s strictly business with Emilio but her defenses are crumbling, and if history is destined to repeat itself, she’s speeding toward some serious heartbreak.  (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
The good: The Book of Broken Hearts grabbed my attention immediately and from the start I knew I would be in for a lot of laughs (thanks to the main character's narration) and romance (why hello Emilio Vargas). By the end of the book though, what I got was so much more than that. Sure, I did laugh and smile and swoon. But I also cried and was deeply moved by Jude's journey, not to mention her close relationship with her father and the rest of her family. But I am getting way ahead of myself here.

Jude Hernandez is the youngest of four sisters and so much of who she is has been defined by them. She wears their hand-me-downs, feels like she lives in the shadow of their strong personalities and learned one very important lesson from their experiences: you must never, ever fall in love with a Vargas boy because he will break your heart. But it's now the summer before college and she's determined to do something for herself and for their ailing father. She decides they're going to restore his vintage motorcycle in the hopes it will keep her father's early onset Alzheimer's at bay. It's a naive hope but one I could understand clinging onto. They can't do this on their own though and have to hire a mechanic to help. Who just happens to be the extremely cute Emilio Vargas.

I'll start off with Jude and Emilio first. Talk about chemistry! I think Jude is her truest self when she's around him. She's feisty, tougher than she looks, funny and can definitely hold her own against his obvious come-ons. Their banter was simultaneously amusing and tension-filled and I loved every second of it. But Emilio isn't what he seems either. At first glance, he comes across as this arrogant overly-flirtatious boy but there's so much more to him that either Jude or we realize (this type of guy might just be my book boyfriend kryptonite).

But the emotional core of the book was, by far, Jude and her family. Specifically her and her dad. Their relationship was so beautiful and through the author's words, you could really feel Jude's fears, frustrations and the deep love she felt for him. I don't know what I would do in her position and the lengths she goes through to take care of him are nothing short of amazing. I also loved seeing the dynamic between her and her sisters. Even when they sometimes frustrated me, you knew they had the best of intentions and just wanted their baby sister to be happy.

(No) reservations: None!

Do I recommend?: I think the gushing above says it all. I highly recommend this book, especially if you love contemporaries. It was this perfect balance of family, falling in love and a girl coming into her own. 

Happy reading! 

6 comments:

  1. I haven't read a Sarah Ockler book yet but I'm super excited for this one! It sounds so much fun, and I know a lot of people, like you, loved it! Great review! :)

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  2. Gah I am SO beyond crazy-excited that this comes out this upcoming week!! I seriously can not wait anymore!! I love Sarah Ockler, so I know I will like it, but I'm glad to hear confirmation that it is indeed good! So glad you liked it :)

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  3. I just finished this and it was definitely a good book! I loved that it was family-centric, for sure and Jude was just such an awesome protag. Love your review =)

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  4. I LOVED this one!!!! It broke my heart oh so many times... I actually had to put it down because it was so hard to get through at some points. I really want to read more of her books now. Great (gushing) review! :)

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  5. Just reading your review makes me want to go out and grab a copy immediately. Seriously, it sounds like such a great contemporary novel! I love that there's both the family aspect and the romance aspect to it. That makes it sound more like a well-rounded novel to me ;)

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